People of the flood ravaged Mondka village in Muzzafargarh district of Pakistan are still celebrating wrestler Azhar Hussain's gold in the Commonwealth games in New Delhi. Azhar won his country's first Commonwealth Games wrestling gold in 40 years when he beat Ebikewenimo Welson of Nigeria in the 55kg freestyle final on Sunday.
"Dozens of people are visiting our home to congratulate us. After so much misery in the floods in which people lost so much, Azhar's gold medal is seen as a big moment of celebration for our village," said Azhar's father Ghulam Hussain. "For me it is a proud moment because I have coached my son and I had to move him to Multan after the floods to prepare for the games," Hussain, who is also former wrestler said.
He said the entire village was devastated in the floods including their two room house and his son's success came because he didn't give up practicing and preparing for the games. "Even during homelessness, Azhar did not stop practicing. He would go to a small park near the Multan railway station and there he would practice. It was his commitment to his sport that made his success possible," he said.
Safdar Hussain, Azhar's coach said that he joined the Pak army as a wrestler in 2002. Initially, he was rejected because of his feeble structure but was given another chance to improve which he availed. Azhar's wife Rashida said since the day Azhar left for New Delhi, she had been praying for his success. "He won only because of my prayers," she was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
Talking about Azhar's diet, his father said it comprised ghee, almonds and chicken. "He does not take tea and drinks cow milk only," the proud father added.